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Jasper Johns
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    (May 15, 1930- )
    Born in Augusta, Georgia
    Painter, printmaker and sculptor
    Pop artist known for works incorporating flags, targets, maps and stenciled letters and numbers
    Works include 'Flag' (1954), 'Target with Four Faces' (1955), 'Three Flags' (1958), 'False Start' (1959), 'Painted Bronze' (1960), 'Periscope (Hart Crane)' (1963), 'Numbers' (mural, 1964), 'Voice' (1967), 'Skull' (1973), 'Titanic' (1978), 'Perilous Night' (1982), 'Seasons' (1986) and 'Numbers' (sculpture, 2007)
    He dropped out of the University of South Carolina after three semesters and the Parsons School of Design after one.
    Before his art career took off, he created window displays for Tiffany's.
    He dislikes being described as the 'father' of Pop Art.
    After his 'False Start' sold for over $17 million (1988), the Guerrilla Girls put up posters declaring, 'For the 17.7 million you just spent on a single Jasper Johns painting, you could have bought at least one work by all of these women and artists of color,' followed by a list of 67 artists.
    He has a reputation as a difficult interviewee, and is particularly unwilling to discuss the 'meaning' of his art. ('The meaning may just be that the painting exists.')
    During his first solo gallery show, the Museum of Modern Art bought four of his works (1958).
    His 'False Start' sold for $80 million, setting a record for the most expensive painting by a living artist (2006).
    He became the first painter or sculptor to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom since Alexander Calder in 1977 (2011).
    He said, 'Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.'
    He poked fun at himself in the 'Mom and Pop Art' episode of The Simpsons.

Credit: C. Fishel

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